In Focus

Albrecht Dürer's Small Passion

The Small Passion is a series of thirty-seven prints that relates the Christian history of man’s salvation, beginning with the Temptation of Adam and Eve and ending with the Last Judgment. It was published as a set in 1511 and bound with explanatory text in Latin written by the Benedictine monk Chelidonius of Nuremberg. Although text was included within the book, the images were the primary focus and were meant to guide prayer and devotion, especially for a largely illiterate audience. For this series, Albrecht Dürer utilized a woodblock print, a relief technique in which the reverse of the image is carved into wood and the uncarved surface carries the ink for printing. Wood was a more economic material than the metal used for engraving; therefore, woodblock prints were more affordable and could reach a wider audience.

Excerpt from

Laura Sevelis, DMA wall text, 2015

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